Israel says 'Hamas network' dismantled in West Bank
The announcement came a day after an alleged Hamas operative carried out a shooting attack in Jerusalem's Old City, which killed a member of the Israeli occupying forces and injured three others. The Palestinian man was shot dead at the scene.
According to Shin Bet, the leadership of Hamas abroad, headed by Saleh Arouri, was behind the latest activity exposed, "aimed at carrying out attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as bombing attacks in Israel".
In recent weeks Shin Bet, army and police forces "arrested over 50 Hamas members in the West Bank who were involved in forming the terror network", the agency said in a statement. Money, weapons, guns and bomb-making material was also seized.
Islamist movement Hamas, considered by the European Union and United States a "terror" group, took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, after winning the elections and has ruled it since. Following its election, Israel imposed a blockade on the impoverished enclave.
Since then, Israel has bombarded the besieged strip in four wars, in 2008, 2012, 2014 and this year.
A senior Shin Bet official alleged that the Hamas operatives were planning "a series of major attacks".
"The goal of the intensified terror activity of Hamas operatives abroad and in Gaza, through operatives in the Judea and Samaria, is to undermine stability in the area, while exacting a heavy price from local residents," the official said, using the Jewish names for the occupied Palestinian territory.